Monday, January 22, 2007

The Elevator

It doesn't take a genius to figure out why on earth my parents are half-funding my move to Manhattan.
Mom thinks: Jessie will find a wealthy, Jewish doctor/lawyer/financial advising man who will sweep her off of her low-income feet.
I think: I will binge drink 3+ nights per week and bring back an assortment of jazz musicians, waiters and Brooklynites to my apartment for unmentionable activites, possibly to be followed by a lovely morning brunch at Euro-Diner.

For those of you who are new to the world of Jessica Harris Winston, I am prone to engaging in relationships with scruffy, hippie men who reel me in with their sensitive-male guitar renditions of Dave Matthews' #41, hookah smoke and the ability to chug 16 Keystone Lights and still drive me home safely.

Much to Ellen and Marvin's dismay, I just can't help myself. I'm sure they dream of my wedding to anyone whose last name ends in berg, baum or farb, but with Emily's lesbian charade I figure i'm in the clear as long as he belongs to the male species.

Which brings me to... the elevator. Forget about Central Park, Starbucks and even the Joshua Tree! I may be a fairly new resident of the New York Tower, but it didn't take long to figure out that the elevator is by far the most popular means of finding a date in Murray Hill.

Today I called in sick. Was I sick? Well, not in the technical sense. But I was feeling pretty nauseous every time I sat down in my cubicle, so I figured a Jess Winston Appreciation Day was in order. I got into the elevator to leave my building at 10:30, only to be greeted by who I like to call... The NYU.

The NYU- "A little late for work today?'
me- "Oh, well not so much... i'm taking a (I ACTUALLY DID THE FINGER QUOTES!) "SICK DAY"

i said this very cheesily, as it was early and I was proud I got to brag about my rebellious endeavors.

The NYU- "Ohh, i see. I go to the business school at NYU and I've got class at 1:30!

Due to our wildly slow moving elevator, i was forced to make more small talk. I learned his name is Adam, he's about to be 26 and he was in fact on his way out for bagels. He asked where I was headed, and i replied to Union Square... to write about being the poorest girl in all of Murray Hill and to buy ultra cheap groceries at Trader Joes.

And then he laughed.... and his laugh sounded like my UNCLE HAROLD. My Uncle Harold has the most hideous laugh known to man. For reference to my Uncle Harold, please visit this website:

As you can see, Harold Winston was in fact the worst ever President of the United States Chess Federation... now, please imagine his laugh.

Between the private university dropping, the salary dropping and my all time favorite-the 'I work for KPMG/other company i've heard of/seen on umbrellas but have no idea what they do except for the fact they pay 18 times more then my job', i'm ready to throw myself out of my 22nd floor window and straight into the East River.

BUT! My all time absolute favorite elevator pick-up so far has got to be from Mr. and Mrs. Stein of somewhere in Long Island, New York.

One day during my first week as an official Murray Hiller, I found myself in an elevator with a much older man. I happened to be sporting my Syracuse sweats that day, and SURPRISE, SURPRISE...
"Did you go to Syracuse? My son just graduated in May! Do you know Jeff Stein?"

The name didn't sound familiar, or at least it was no one I could recall sleeping with.
After admitting I had never heard of his son, Mr. Stein took my name and said these exact words

"Jessica Winston, eh? Which apartment? I'm going to tell Jeff to give you a visit!"

How magical is what I did NOT think, as I walked off the elevator and into my apartment. And in the back of my head I heard my parents cheering with delight "Stein!!! you hear that, Jessie? STEIN!"

Several weeks later, I found myself on the same elevator with 2 yenta mothers.

Yenta #1: "Oy, that show was not good, Barb!! I almost fell asleep 2 times!"
Y #2: "I liked Mama Mia MUCH better!"

and so on and so forth, until Yenta #1 turned to me and said

"OH, you are a cute one! Is that scarf from Anthropologie? Are you single?"


Me- "Umm... yeah, it is. Yep... i am." was my super smooth reply.

Yenta #1: "My son would just LOVE you! He just moved in last week, you know. What are you doing right now?"

AHHHH shit! My black spandex pants and the mouthful of Tasti Delite dripping down my chin must have been a dead give away for any tri-state Jewish mother radar.

Me- "Well, I mean... um...I was just going up to my apartment. I have to help my roommate with something"

Yenta #1: "Nonsense!! Come, come! Just for a minute... I think you are definitely his type!"

As the yenta mothers dragged me out onto the 16th floor, I silently plotted a way to either faint, vomit or run and hide in the garbage room. I was desperate, but there was no escaping the clutch of the overbearing Jewish mother!!

I followed the women to apt #16B, and found myself looking at a chubby, buck-toothed awkward man-boy. Yes, he was a man-boy. Face of a boy, body of a... sort of a man. Nonetheless, I was pretty relieved at his lack of hotness as the moment was just a tad too awkward for my liking.

I introduced myself, along with which always comes the 3 Jewish Questions.

1. Where are you from?
A. Long Island
B. New Jersey.
C. Nothing else matters.

2. Where did you go to college?

A. Ivy Leaguer
B. East Coast Private University (**Penn State also acceptable)
C. Nothing else matters.

3. What do you do?
A. Doctor, Lawyer
B. Med student, Law student
C. Other Acceptable fields including finance, media and real estate

I discovered my Man-Boy resides from Long Island (A!), graduated from Syracuse (B!) and works in Real Estate (C!)...


And then... suddenly... the lightbulb went on.

"Umm... is your last name Stein by any chance?"

God knows how I remembered this, as I tend to black out the weeks events at Happy Hour each Thursday.

Well, ring-a-ding-ding, my suspicions were correct.

As I recalled the tale of meeting Mr. Stein a couple weeks prior to the 2 yentas, Jeff Stein looked as if he possibly wanted to kill himself, or maybe just his parents.

I made a polite, yet speedy exit and laughed my ass off all the way up to the 22nd floor.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

For $12 only...

In the past few weeks, my relationship with manicures has gone from non existant to a full blown addiction. Just like crack, but a bit more expensive. I never used to like nail polish. I am opposed to many girly things. For example, i don't wear earrings. I was pressured into piercing at an early age and after enduring the pain of the stapling gun i decided no way, not for me. I let the holes close. it was over.

i've always felt uncomfortable with the idea of earrings. i also feel mildly off about large belts, high heels and strapless bras. i need those straps, i'm ENTITLED to those straps!!

But manicures. Oh sweet, sweet manicures.

Before entering my first year into the real world, i had only received 2 manicures in my life. Said manicures included a hot pink number for Emily's 1992 tropical themed bat mitzvah while the second was a seafoam green rendition to match my fluffy seafoam green frock at Sarah's. I'm positive these manicures lasted 2 days each. Between the wedgie picking and the chewing of dorito cheese particles out from between my fingernails, those suckers never stood a chance.

I always thought.... who wants magenta nails? I am a NATURAL woman, and i don't need this garbage.

Until... Sarah bought an amazingly wonderful color appropriately named 'Lady Godiva'
Oh Lady Godiva, you are indeed a lady. You are my ebony godess, and i want you to be smothered on my nails forever!

After realizing that self application of Lady Godiva looked like I took a hearty dump and wiped it sans toilet paper, i decided i had to seek professional help.

Let me tell you... for $12 only, plus tip of course, you can feel as awkward as you did the first time you were penetrated in your 11th grade boyfriend's flannel sheets while his parents watched Wheel of Fortune in the next room.

I sought out Google, and secured a lunch time appointment near my office. Look at me. Lunch-time manicures! I scarfed my $10 Pax salad and headed over to the salon. I felt quite professional and ladylike as i awaited my manicurist to come and collect me from the smushy couch in the corner.

"Square or round?" Ms. Russian Manicure Nazi inquired.

I pondered this for a moment. I don't know! Should I call Sarah? Are square nails WEIRD?! Round? Square? MEAAHAHHHH

"SQUARE!", i blurted out... not in fact sure that I truly meant it.

She arduously filed my nails, reminding me the entire time that my nails were dry, i don't take care of them and I in fact, suck at life.

Then came the tool kit. Shit, can't you just paint my nails and we'll call it a day?

She starts to prick and pluck and before I know it she is cutting up my cuticles with her little bastard scissors. I vaguely recalled Sarah warning me not to get my cuticles cut in case it's a dirty salon with unclean utensils who have possibly been exposed on FOX news.

She didn't even ask! Do i stay STOP? Is cuticle cutting neccessary? Don't i need my cuticles for growth and prosperity and calcium retention?

Torture time concludes and she lotions up my hands. It smells... interesting. She is MASSAGING my hands.
I love massages... passionately, however I have no idea where to look as she massages my hands. We are not having any sort of conversation, and is now the time to start? Should i ask if she has any pets? How she got into nails?
Is it ok to watch her rub my hands, or should i look at the woman next to me or should i look at the ceiling?

I'm getting increasingly nervous as the rubbing continues, but thankfully it's a quick job and before I know it, she's asking me to pay.

Ok, this one i get. They don't want you taking your wallet out post-paint-job.
Problem: You have to tip before the painting has even begun!!!
If i am a crappy tipper, i can be assured my nails will look like another messy toilet accident.
I angrily place my 43% tip on the table. Here we goooooo.

The painting went smashingly. Lady Godiva was one hot bitch, and i couldn't wait to return to my cubicle so i could type... and point at things? Surely, i would pick up at least 3 guys with my new and improved nails!!! MANICURES FOREVER!

After my Bitchy Picasso finished her job, She lead me over to the nail drying station.
HOME FREE BABY, no more pressure for small talk, no hand rubs, no self esteem knocking.

As i'm sitting under the nail-drying-mechanism-with-crazy-blue-infrared-lighting, i feel something on my shoulders. That something is a back massage!! It is so unbelievably awkward once again, but thankfully this time i don't have to look her in the face. Plus, i don't fear criticism in the shoulder area, as i have been told many a time that i have a pair of gloriously amazing shoulder blades.

The machine clicked off, my shoulders were left to the wind, i eased into my winter coat and ran out of the door.

I longingly adored my nails on the 4 block journey back to work. I made a quick stop into the deli next door for a diet Dr. Brown's and hopped into the elevator.

I plopped down into my desk and cracked open my soda.


not exactly dry... yet.

Anyone know if Manicures for Dummies has been published yet??